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Adolescent Scoliosis-Wrong posture is a red light for spine health


During my years of observing adolescent patients that visited my office for back pain, most have stretched skin in the back. Although people claim this to be the result of an adolescents’ rapid growth, this is the result of poor posture applying constant stress on the skin. There are even cases in which the spine protrudes and callouses form on said protrusions. Habitual bad posture while using hand held devices or reading are the causes for a bent back.

Contrary to the degenerative conditions common in adults, young children or adolescents are under the suspicion of congenital discrepancies, tumors, spondylolysis, scoliosis, and other different conditions. Historically, adolescent disk hernia was uncommon, mostly originating from extensive exercise, accidents, or injuries. However, according to a recent study conducted by a university hospital, adolescent disk hernia has increased 2.2 times over the span of 9 years(1995-2009). Additionally, in accordance to a 2012 study, the possibility for disk hernia in adolescents have increased 1.5 time over the past 5 years, 5 times in the last 10 years.

Humans were engineered to be fit for upright walking, with a double S-shaped spine structure with the neck and back curved back. However, modern society has restricted and enforces people to bend their necks and back for exhaustive periods of time. This results in a C-shaped spine.

In the case of adolescents, they are suffering the same restrictive environments during the years of rapid growth. This environment is not only limited to bad posture, however. Obesity and lack of exercise lead to the weakening of spinal muscles and increases the burden on the spine itself. This leaves teens susceptible to spinal injuries.

Teenagers still do not have the ability to manage their spine. Through the care, patience, and education from parents and educators, adolescents should be provided an environment in which their spinal health would be taken care of. Limiting the time spent sitting down and living daily life with good posture through enough exercise will allow for teens to grow healthy.

<Source=Head of Nasaret International Hospital Spine Center Lee Jong-sun>


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